Creating New Facts: Color vs. Building

In our session the other night, one of the players (Alixander), framed a color scene where he and the Archcotare went hunting, and after bringing a beast down, they discovered a naiven crawling out of the creature’s head. I nixed the vaylen discovery part of the scene because the Vaylen hadn’t yet infiltrated the planet (they’re biding their time until the moment is right). As a Vaylen GM, I didn’t feel it was appropriate for the players to set my invasion schedule in a color scene.

Later, another player (Koniga Sacci), using a building roll, wanted to see if he could find an infiltrating Vaylen ship, or evidence of one, somewhere on the planet with his Hussar unit. I called it Ob 8 (Nearly Impossible), and he nailed it, finding Vaylen. I put that down to some Vaylen yahoo infiltrating ahead of schedule. I suppose I could also have said that a successful roll would convince his character that he’d found Vaylen, even though there aren’t any Vaylen to be found yet…

Basic questions:

  1. Can color scenes be used to create facts about a FoN (or “side” in this case) if that FoN’s controller doesn’t agree with it?

  2. How about building rolls? Can you declare the intent of a roll to “discover a fact about a FoN that the FoN’s controller hasn’t established himself?” Like: “I overhear and record Mago telling one of his men that he doesn’t trust his best friend.”


  1. Color scenes can’t break established game conventions. If there aren’t any Vaylen (yet), then there’s no Vaylen to be found. You’re right in making that call.

  2. We go over this all the time. If the intent of the roll isn’t appropriate to the game, then it’s up to the GM to address that.

  3. a: Players cannot control the actions of other characters period. Players cannot establish behavior for any other character but their own.

One more suggestion:

  1. Color trumps color. You found a worm? Really? What kind? Oh, we ran some tests and it’s not Valyen. Sorry.

PS Although I’d go with what Luke said above since you can quickly get into a color v. color pissing contest that’s like two kids on a playground, “I shoot you with my death ray.” “I raise my impenetrable force field.” “I cut a hole in your impenetrable force field with my Cuts Everything knife” etc., etc.

Good answers guys, thanks.

An evil plot occurred to me based on situation 1 and the idea of color trumps color.

Depending on the planetary education level chosen and personal experience, the PCs might not be capable of distinguishing a naiven from any other type of parasitical worm (of which there are many). Though I suppose this is something the GM should point out initially and state that at best they can find what they believe to be a niaven worm.

If they bite then players carry through with their plan, thinking they’ve actually found a naiven worm. Then later on in my building scene establish that in fact what they found is some indigenous parasitical worm, and in their paranoia they have confused it with a naiven worm. Then in some building scenes using propaganda I would discredit their side and shift public opinion to my side.

In essence making the PC’s look like scare-mongers, overtly paranoid, etc…

Oh baby, Esteban, you KNOW I’m going to use that. Hope my players don’t read this…


Even if they do read this, I believe you can still make a conflict out of it.

Just shift focus away from the nature of the worms (are they naiven or not?) to public perception. It could easily turn into the focus of one manuever, one side tries to convince there’s a threat, the other side is trying to discredit the threat.

The conflict turns even juicier if you stick with the original interpretation that there are no naiven currently in the planet. So then some juicy moral and ethical conflicts come into play! Will the players, cheat, lie, produce false testimony, silence scientists/research in order to come out ahead and convince the people of the naiven threat? For which they have no real proof, but in their hearts they know it’s real!

The setup reminds me of the situation with weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It’s somewhat analogous to that: in the end what mattered was public opinion and propaganda.

I like the way you think Esteban!

wicked, very wicked